by Walter Last

Flower Remedies

Flower remedies represent a combination of herbalism and homeopathy. Their main therapeutic effects are on the emotional level. Best known are the Bach flower remedies, originated by Dr Edward Bach, an English physician. In recent times, Australian wildflower remedies and Californian flower essences have also become available. These are sold mainly in health food shops and by various practitioners.

Flower remedies are best used together with appropriate affirmations. In clinical situations it is recommended to use a standard questionnaire for emotional to allow a more speedy and accurate selection of the appropriate remedies. This information may then also be used for other emotion-directed therapies. Of special significance is the Bach Rescue Remedy, which should be part of every first aid kit. Individual flower remedies may be combined for treatment according to symptoms. In selecting Bach flower remedies, it is recommended to combine no more than six different remedies. However, the Composite Rescue Remedy may be counted as a single remedy.

The usual dosage is two to four drops of the composite preparation in a teaspoonful of water at least four times daily, before meals and especially first and last thing daily. Hold this in the mouth and under the tongue for some time. Store remedies in a cool place.

In some cases, flower remedies may be taken for long periods for the treatment of chronic illnesses, while those for acute (short-term) problems are used only when the problem is noticed. These short-term remedies may be changed frequently according to changing moods.

Following is a quick-reference guide for the selection of Bach flower remedies.

Agrimony - suffering or worry hidden by smiling face

Aspen - apprehension, vague fears of unknown origin

Beech - intolerance, arrogance, tendency to be overcritical

Centaury - susceptibility to influence and exploitation, weak willed, timidity

Cerato - lack of confidence, doubt, constant requests for advice

Cherry plum - uncontrolled temper, desperation, fear of loss of mind

Chestnut bud - slow to learn, lack of observation, repetition of mistakes

Chicory - possessiveness, self-love, self-pity, attention seeking

Clematis - indifference, dreaminess, lack of interest

Crab apple - feeling of being unclean, shame, self-dislike; the cleanser

Elm - occasional feelings of inadequacy, too much responsibility

Gentian - discouragement, self-doubt, negative attitudes, depression

Gorse - hopelessness, despair, despondency

Heather - self-centeredness, love of talking, inability to listen

Holly - envy, suspicion, revenge, hatred, jealousy

Honeysuckle - living too much in the past, homesickness

Hornbeam - mental and physical weariness

Impatiens - impatience, irritability, mental tension

Larch - lack of confidence, expectation of failure, feeling of inferiority

Mimulus - fear of known things, shyness, timidity

Mustard - deep gloom or depression of unknown cause

Oak - onward struggle despite despondency/despair

Olive - mental and physical exhaustion or weariness

Pine - self-blame, self-reproach, guilt, false humility

Red chestnut - fear and anxiety for others

Rock rose - terror, panic, extreme fear

Rock water - self-criticism, rigidity, self-denial

Scleranthus - uncertainty, indecision, hesitation, lack of balance

Star of Bethlehem - after-effects of shock and trauma

Sweet chestnut - extreme anguish, hopeless despair, loss of faith

Vervain - over-enthusiasm, fanaticism, nervous tension, strain

Vine - dominance, leadership, craving for power, ambition, inflexibility

Walnut - helps in changes, link breaking, protects

Water violet - aloofness, reserve, pride

White chestnut - unwanted persistent thoughts, worry, inner mental arguments

Wild oat - dissatisfaction at not having found goal, uncertainty

Wild rose - resignation, lack of interest, apathy

Willow - resentment, bitterness, 'not-fair' attitude

Rescue Remedy (a composite of cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and star of Bethlehem) - use for shock, terror, upsets, fright and accidents; give frequently in all emergencies, apply externally on wounds.

While the flower remedies are usually selected according to the problems you wish to overcome, you may also look at what you wish to achieve, how you wish to become. For this, you may use the opposite to the descriptions given for the various remedies. The keywords for the positive attributes we wish to acquire (with the negative aspects we wish to overcome in parentheses) for some of the remedies are as follows.

Attentiveness (being dreamy) - clematis

Certainty (indecision) - scleranthus

Courage (terror) - rock rose

Faith (doubt) - gentian

Humility (pride) - water violet

Patience (impatience) - impatiens

Peace (torment) - agrimony

Service (self-love) - chicory

Strength (weakness) - centaury

Sympathy (fear) - mimulus

Understanding (fanaticism) - vervain

Wisdom (foolishness) cerato 

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Disclaimer: The aim of this web site is to provide information on using natural healing methods to aid in the treatment of illness and health improvement.
The author cannot accept any legal responsibility for any problem arising from experimenting with these methods. For any serious disease,
or if you are unsure about a particular course of action, seek the help of a competent health professional.

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